The Jacksonville City Council’s Finance Committee has tentatively approved restoring the hours to nine library branches where services were cut this year.
The committee also voted to change the library system’s organizational chart. Under the new structure, library Executive Director Barbara Gubbin would report to the mayor and council, instead of the Board of Library Trustees.
Earlier this year, five library branches’ operating hours were reduced to 20 a week. In addition, the Sunday hours were eliminated at four regional libraries. The annual savings was estimated at approximately $540,000.
For now, the branch hours will be restored using money budgeted to buy new materials, specifically CDs and DVDs. The current budget allocates $786,000 for such purchases, out of a $3.6 million total materials budget.On the organization shift, Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Davis said it makes sense that the library director be required to report directly to the mayor and council members on how the library system’s $41 million budget is spent.